Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La rançon du mort (Frère Cadfael, #9)” as Want to Read:
La rançon du mort (Frère Cadfael, #9)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La rançon du mort (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #9)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,923 ratings  ·  103 reviews
En l'an de grâce 1141, période troublée par l'ambition de deux demi-frères avides de fonder chacun son propre royaume, frère Cadfael prie tout particulièrement pour que se réconcilient les hommes de cette terre chaotique et divisée qu'est le royaume d'Angleterre. Il ignore encore qu'il sera mêlé d'ici peu à une nouvelle énigme, lors d'un échange d'otages dont dépend le sor ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2001 by 10/18 (first published 1984)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about La rançon du mort, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about La rançon du mort

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book doesn't come up in a title search, even if you combine a keyword from the title and the author's name. I had to search for it by ISBN #. [2015--this seems to have been corrected]

Up until the middle of this book in the series, the Sheriff of Shropshire is Gilbert Prestcote. He's not particularly adequate. He's dour, he's prejudiced, and he sometimes takes advantage of built-in cruelties in the law to 'solve' problems that could have been solved a lot less ruthlessly. Would a man who acc
I found this one of the series very convincing and engaging. The interest lay in the motivations of the characters - their loyalties, responses and obligations. Peters manages to draw the reader into another time and place, to connect us to the context. The story unfolds with ease. It mattered not that I could guess how the mystery might unfold. I was part of the world and wanted to know how each character would fare, where the logic of their world would take them within the framework of histori ...more
Another entertaining installment in the Cadfael canon. This is the first one chronologically that was never made into a TV episode. Perhaps because it has Cadfael in Wales for a good part of it and the ensemble cast that they assembled for the TV series would have had precious little to do.

The episode is a good one though. There are actually two sets of star-crossed lovers and a Welsh border incursion along with the re-appearance of Avice of Thornbury from Leper of Saint Giles now as a Benedict
The civil war has flared up again and once again comes close to home for the population of Shrewsbury. When an exchange of prisoners of war leads to coldblooded murder, the prime suspect, a young man from Wales, appeals to Brother Cadfael for help. As always, an entertaining historical mystery read.
Maria Thermann
Dead Man's Ransom is a very thought-provoking whodunit, presenting both Cadfael and the Deputy Sheriff, Hugh Beringar, with quite a conundrum. Two Welsh foster-brothers, as close as twins but as dissimilar as two young whelps could be in nature, are embroiled in a love-triangle that ends in murder.

The murder victim, an exchange prisoner taken by the Welsh during a battle for Lincoln in the ongoing civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud in 1141, is none other than the Sheriff of Shrewsb
Cadfael series: excellent historical fiction. Ellis Peters draws the reader into the twelfth century with modern story telling but holds us there with a richness of detail which evokes a time and place which might as well be fictional. Though the foreground of each chronicle is a murder mystery, behind it a nation and a culture are woven in a wondrous tapestry.

Dead Man's Ransom: Honor and duty clash with unrequited love and racial animosity.
Listed as #9 in the Brother Cadfael series, it read more like a much earlier book. Did not think the characters were as well fleshed out as in others of this series. Still a fun, easy afternoon read. Deals with the conflict between King Steven and EMpress Maude, however, the Welsh interests seem to take precedence in this story. A young noble is captured, an exchange is arranged, but the exchangee is badly wounded and dies before the actual exchange takes place. Honor is involved, so the young n ...more
Another really solid book in this series. I figured out pretty early on who was in love with whom, and I also figured out the murderer (and was not happy about it!) but it all worked out in the end, whew, nicely though not so neatly. Yay!
Because I check my goodreads list before I buy books, in this I had misled myself. Sometimes I sit down at the library and read books, start to finish, and this had been one of those. I recall thinking at the time that I did not find the book as interesting as most of the Cadfael books because of the descriptions of battle. I like battle scenes...just not the ones written by this lady who did such a good job on the softer side of things. Anyway, glad I bought it just the same and enjoyed the rat ...more
Ellis Peters' Cadfael was where I started reading crime in earnest. It has been a delight to go back and fill in a gap. They are superficially slight, easy, pleasant reads but I find they endure in the memory.

An important figure, wounded and captured in battle, is brought home in a prisoner exchange but dies, as it turns out not of his injuries but assisted on his way. So there's the mystery, the Dead Man's Ransom and to add to that we have the regular mix of medieval politics and life, and a mo
I thought the central relationship of this was fascinating, though of course my 21st-century brain was convinced that Eliud was going to turn out to be in love with his foster brother Elis. Didn't happen, and I was a tiny bit disappointed not to get to read how Brother Cadfael would have dealt with that.

The weird thing, also, about reading in whatever order I feel like is that the dead man in this book features prominently in a lot of other books, and I want to go back and check all of the late
I love Brother Cadfael mysteries but this one dragged and the murderer was kinda obvious.
Rena Sherwood
Okay, granted, my appreciation for this book is not going to be the same as the average reader. I began it while my Mom was getting surgery and finished it in the days she was recovering (Mom's more or less fine now.) Anyway, Dead Man's Ransom helped comfort me because I was able to easily immerse myself in its world and thus be spared the constant worry about Mom's condition (or lack thereof.) I am a chronic worrier so ANYTHING that can successfully distract me from worry is practically miracul ...more
Sheriff Gilbert Prestcote and his forces had been in battle against the Welsh. The troops returned to Shrewsbury without their leader. It is hoped that he is alive in captivity. A few days later, word is brought to the Abbey of a Welshman being held captive. He (Elis) is brought to the Abbey and word is sent to the Welsh forces with the idea of brokering a deal to swap prisoners. The sheriff is alive, but seriously wounded. It is agreed that the exchange can be made and the Welsh bring Gilbert ...more
Cecily Felber
Nov 11, 2010 Cecily Felber rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This is the book, with its mentions of Madog ap Maredudd and the contigent of Welsh soldiers who took part in the Battle of Lincoln, that is partly responsible for my own books.

The Battle of Lincoln in early 1141 was a disastrous defeat for King Stephen in his ongoing war with his cousin Maud for the crown of England. Fighting on Stephen's side is the Sheriff of Shrewsbury, Gilbert Prestcote, Hugh Beringar's superior, who is wounded and then taken prisoner and held for ransom by some of the Wels
1st Recorded Reading: October 2003

The Battle of Lincoln in the north of England on February 2, 1141, is historical fact; the forces of King Stephen of England fought the forces of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester (the half brother of the Empress Matilda) and those of the Earl of Chester, while on the flank was a mass of Welsh troops led by Madog ap Maredudd, Lord of Powys, and Cadwaladr ap Gruffydd, the brother of Owain, Prince of Gwynedd, who was neutral in the Civil War between Stephen and Matil
I love the Brother Cadfael books - not so much for the mystery part (since I'm not a mystery reader) but strictly because of the characters , specifically Brother Cadfael, the spunky little 12 century Welsh Benedictine monk and herbalist, and Hugh Berengar, Sheriff of Maesbury who is Cadfael's sleuthing sidekick. The books all take place in and around the Abbey of Sts Peter and Paul in Shrewsbury in Shropshire, England during the the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud of England. I ...more
I love the Brother Cadfael mysteries as much for the richness of the characters and setting in old 12th Century England as for the intricate mysteries. The stories all take place in and around the Abbey of Sts. Peter and Paul in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England during the Civil War between King Stephen and Empress Maud of England. In these books, some kind of murder or other mysterious mishap seems to find its way to the Abbey, interrupting the serenity of the brothers cloistered there. Brother ...more
The ninth of the Cadfael chronicles. I am starting to get fond of Cadfael and Hugh. As always they are the main characters. This book has a bit more action with two wars: one from the north and one from Wales. Gilbert Prescote is captive of the Welsh and he is to be exchanged with a Welsh captive. Sister Magdalena is also playing a role again.

I do like Elis Peters' books and I enjoy them a lot.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Brother Cadfael! Started back on this fine series with it's excellent dialogue and accurate period detail.

The Welsh were over the borders as King Stephen and Matilda the Empress were fighting their battles. Ellis Peters described the Welsh protagonists and who had or perhaps, may have had allegiances.

I recommend this for every one and especially people like myself wishing to understand some distant Welsh roots.
Cherie Waggie
Getting to know Brother Cadfael through the books of Ellis Peters has been a wonderful treat. Using only his skills of observation and knowledge of the world, Cadfael works miracles in forensic science in an age where such things simply weren't known. I've read all of Brother Cadfael's mysteries and enjoy seeing them brought to life by Derek Jacoby on DVD.
Feeding my fetish of 12th century murder mysteries set in England (involving Benedictine monks), I noticed this series of "Brother Cadfael" books. Or rather, books and videos. PBS showed a bunch of one hour episodes during the mid-90's, each representing one of these novels. So they're not overly convoluted, like Name of the Rose was. These are simply fun, straight-forward murder mysteries, involving a cheery, progressive Benedictine monk named Cadfael cast in the role of Sherlock Holmes.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Meggs
There was quite a lot more of neighbouring Wales in this book, the Welsh characters and law added an interesting element in the differences between theirs English laws. I find myself most definitely in two minds about the murderer though. It was good to see the return of Sister Magdalene, she is another one who has a good back story.
Brian Turner
Set in the 12th century, The sheriff of Shrewsbury is captured by the Welsh, and a minor Welsh lord is also captured by the English. A swap is agreed, but one is murdered before the handover can take place.
Brother Cadfael uses his knowledge to pick at clues until the killer can be found.

A character driven story, it doesn't go in for convolutions that some mystery authors chose to show off how clever they were, and as such has much more re-reading value.

The period it's set in acts as a handy back
Not my favourite so far, but a good read. This one didn't tie up so well at the end I felt although it was a happy ending. I would have liked more of the high-born Welsh girl too, she seemed quite interesting but more was said about her than by her so she came over as rather shrewish!
I'm a fan of Brother Cadfael. I like his easy manner, insight into people, and wisdom. This was the third book I've read, so it's always a good thing to meet up with some familiar characters. Good description: "Of the three, the prisoner in Shrewsbury seemed to him the happiest by far, since he lived in the day, warming in its sunlight, taking cover from its storms, in every case finding by instinct the pleasant corner and the gratifying entertainment. The other two burned like candles, eating t ...more
I love the way a riveting story and fascinating historical detail are combined with gentle spiritual insight.
P. 144, " was good to put all that aside and listen with good heart to the lives of saints who had shrugged off the cares of the world to let in the promises of a world beyond and viewed earthly justice as no more than a futile shadow-play obscuring the absolute justice of heaven, for which no man need wait longer than the life-span of mortality."
P. " 'It is God fixes the term,' sai
Carolyn Thomas
Delightful. It's like stepping back in time. In this tale of true love, faithful friends and murder Brother Cadfael once again takes centre-stage but this time has a little help from Sister Magdalen in bringing about a successful denouement.
Carrie de Carteret
Another good dose of comfort reading. Cadfael strays even further into the realms of playing god than usual. Again the Kindle edition doesn't seem to have been proof-read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Spy for the Redeemer (Owen Archer, #7)
  • The Monk Who Vanished (Sister Fidelma, #7)
  • The Servant's Tale (Sister Frevisse, #2)
  • The Devil's Door (Catherine LeVendeur, #2)
  • The House of Crows (The Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan, #6)
A pseudonym used by Edith Pargeter.

Edith Mary Pargeter, OBE, BEM (September 28, 1913 in Horsehay, Shropshire, England –October 14, 1995) was a prolific author of works in many categories, especially history and historical fiction, and was also honoured for her translations of Czech classics; she is probably best known for her murder mysteries, both historical and modern. Born in the village of Hor
More about Ellis Peters...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Brother Cadfael (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #1)
  • One Corpse Too Many (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #2)
  • Monk's Hood (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #3)
  • St. Peter's Fair (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #4)
  • The Leper of Saint Giles (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #5)
  • The Virgin in the Ice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #6)
  • The Sanctuary Sparrow (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #7)
  • The Devil's Novice (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #8)
  • The Pilgrim of Hate (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #10)
  • An Excellent Mystery (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #11)

Share This Book

“A man must be prepared to face life, as well as death, there's no escape from either.” 8 likes
“Once, I remember, Father Abbot said that our purpose is justice, and with God lies the privilege of mercy. But even God, when he intends mercy, needs tools to his hand.” 2 likes
More quotes…